Elizabeth Warren Targets Clinton Foundation Donors

Warren takes aim at foreign donors to Clinton Foundation in TPP attack

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren / AP
• May 8, 2015 2:00 pm


A new blog post written by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) may appear to be an attempt to align with Hillary Clinton, but it takes direct aim at multiple Clinton Foundation donors.

Warren’s post, "I agree with Hillary Clinton," details her concerns with a provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that she says "would let foreign companies challenge American laws outside of American courts."

"The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision isn’t a one-time, hypothetical problem—we’ve seen it in past trade agreements," Warren wrote.

Three of the five companies Warren uses as examples of companies that have abused similar provisions in the past few years are donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Warren’s first example is "a French company [that] sued Egypt after Egypt raised its minimum wage." 

The French company Warren is referring to is The Veolia Group, which chose to challenge a raise won by Egyptian workers during the 2011 Arab Spring.

Veolia has contributed between $50,001 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

Another company Warren attacks for using the ISDS is Philip Morris, which is part of the Altria group—another Clinton Foundation donor.

"Philip Morris is using ISDS right now to try to stop countries like Australia and Uruguay from implementing new rules that are intended to cut smoking rates—because the new laws might eat into the tobacco giant’s profits," Warren writes.

Also on Warren’s list is "a Swedish company [that] sued Germany because Germany wanted to phase out nuclear power for safety reasons."

The company is Vattenfall, a state-owned Swedish utility that sued Germany after its decision to shut down the Brunsbüttel and Krümmel nuclear power plants. The decision was made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the 2011 incident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency has contributed between $1 million and $10 million to the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

The other foreign companies listed by Warren were Dutch Saluka Investments and Canadian mining company Bilcon, neither of which have donated to the Clinton Foundation.

Warren writes in her post that her position on ISDS is shared by Clinton, who wrote in Hard Choices last year that "the United States should be advocating a level and fair playing field, not special favors."

Warren’s office did not respond to a question on whether the use of Clinton Foundation donors in her article was deliberate.